The South is a green and alive region, opposite of the dry and deserted North of Chile. Instead of arid sceneries, the land is covered with all kinds of vegetation and water fountains.
A typical view you can find in the South is a blue lake, with mountains and hills covered with green.
This picture shows a typical view of southern Chile, courtesy of María Jose Sommerhoff.
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Where is it?
It extends from Bio-Bio River (37° south latitude) to below Chiloé Island (48°south latitude), concentrating without doubt almost all of Chile’s lakes and lagoons in such way that a part of it is called the Lake District. In addition to lakes, water is also present in the hundreds of rivers that descend over volcanic rocks from the Andes Mountains to the Ocean. The difference of height between this two makes the rivers’ stream too strong and creates numerous rapids, so that the navigable rivers are very few. (Hudson, 1994)
Here, in the Andes Mountains you can find several volcanoes, many of them still active like Llaima, Villarrica or Chaiten. In fact, in 2008 Chaiten Volcano erupted, and this year the same happened with Llaima Volcano.
The area is also covered with old growth woods with a variety of endemic plants and trees, such as the Larch or the Araucaria. This last one, also called Pehuen, is as well another main characteristic of this region; you can find this tree along the mountains and forests in many different environments. (CONAF, 1982)
There are several protected areas, like:
- 1.Laguna del Laja National Park
- 2.Nahuelbuta National Park
- 3.Tolhuaca National Park
- 4.Malalcahuello National Reserve
- 5.Conguillio National Park
- 6.Huerquehue National Park
- 7.Villarrica National Park
- 8.Puyehue National Park
- 9.Vicente Peréz Rosales National Park
- 10.Alerce Andino National Park
This picture is courtesy of Robert Sommerhoff.
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Conguillio National Park
This park is located near Temuco in the ninth region, and was created in 1970 to preserve the numerous Araucaria trees present there. Llaima Volcano is here always covered with snow on the top, and constantly releasing gases and ashes to the sky. The whole mountain is made of volcanic rock. You can watch clearly how the passed eruptions changed the scenery with the volcanic rock rivers that cross through the green forests. These lava rivers are completely sterile and nothing grows on them, so you can see all the vegetation growing around in the places the lava did not touch producing a great contrast.
This is a picture of Llaima Volcano, courtesy of Robert Sommerhoff.
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This photo is courtesy of Viviana Croquevielle.
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Near the volcano is Conguillio Lake surrounded by a forest. This lake drains in the Truful-Truful River that then creates the Arco Iris Lagoon. All of these places are available for visiting, including the other main lagoons of the park: Captrén and Verde Lagoon. In the lagoons the water is so clear that you can see on the bottom the remaining of ancient Araucarias and other trees’ trunks. (CONAF, 1982)
Arco Iris Lagoon
You can see it very clearly in this next Photo of Arco Iris Lagoon, courtesy of Robert Sommerhoff.
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